Who are you and what do you do in the games industry?
My name is Joshua Nuernberger and I’m a full-time student, part-time game developer, and the creator of Gemini Rue.
What products have you worked on in the past?
I created La Croix Pan, a 2D World War II adventure-FPS hybrid, and Chatroom, an IRC chat simulator which was created in one week. I’ve also done some freelance work for other adventure games and some iPhone apps.
Gemini Rue is your current game that you are releasing, what is it and where did you get your inspiration?
Gemini Rue is a neo-noir, point n’ click, dual-narrative, retro-styled adventure game that follows the stories of two separate yet interweaving characters in a science fiction, film-noir world. I get my inspiration from various TV shows, films, anime, books, video games, and last but not least, life.
Gemini Rue use to be called Boryokudan Rue. What do both mean and what was the reason for the change?
“Boryokudan” is Japanese for “violence group,” i.e. the mafia (thanks, Google translator!), and “Rue” is English for regret or remorse. (There is a French “Rue” too, but it’s not what I intended.) So, the original title (Boryokudan Rue) meant “violence group – regret.” As you can imagine, “Boryokudan” is just as hard to pronounce as it is to spell, so some re-thinking was involved in changing the title to Gemini Rue. On that note, Gemini is the location of the game’s setting. (It’s sci-fi! They’re in outer-space!) And it also has mythological significance with the motif of twins, or duality, so it parallels the game’s double nature with its two protagonists and narratives.
This is the first project you are releasing to retail, why is that?
My last two projects were released as freeware, and I felt that with the scope of Gemini Rue, it wouldn’t hurt to try and go commercial and see what happens, especially after making it to the IGF [Independent Games Festival, 2010].
You have used the “Adventure Game Studio Engine” on multiple projects, what makes it so good for your style?
AGS is designed for recreating the type of gaming experience that existed with the classic LucasArts and Sierra adventures, so it’s perfect for designing this type of game. Moreover, the engine is constantly updated and has a great community, so all the more reason to go with it.
I know that you had someone else create the soundtrack, are there others that helped along the way?
People have been very supportive in little but still helpful ways, whether it was offering story suggestions, coding a module, or testing the game for bugs. Now, thanks to Wadjet Eye Games, we also have a full cast voicing the game. Other than that though, it was basically a two-man team: Nathan Allen Pinard on music & sound, and me on everything else.
I wish every game had an in-game commentary, why did you include it with Gemini Rue?
Commentary is something that I really enjoy from Valve’s games, because it allows the player to see into the mind of the designer and appreciate all the decisions and effort that went into a game. Plus, it doesn’t take that much effort to add.
Do you prefer the adventure game genre for personal gaming? What other genre to you enjoy?
Yes and no! Hehe, it seems to be a bit hypocritical, but it’s really hard to find the time and the right mindset to play adventure games in this modern day and age, in my opinion. They take so much time to dive into, and involve so much contemplation rather than action, that it’s hard to justify their play on a day-to-day basis, at least in my life. Hopefully I circumvented that with Gemini Rue, because that was the mindset I designed it in.
As for what genres I play, I used to play just about every genre growing up, but these days it’s probably more indie games, casual games, or once in a while a FPS or RPG.
Playing anything for pleasure recently, if so, what?
A couple of games I’ve enjoyed recently: Super Crate Box (Vlambeer), A House in California (Cardboard Computer), and Flywrench & Nidhogg (Messhof).
Any hints on what your next project is going to be?
Sabbatical, most likely. :)
Anything else you wish to share with the readers of GamingBits?
Please pre-order Gemini Rue to help fund a poor college student’s tuition.
Thanks to Joshua Nuernberger for participating in this interview! For more details on pre-ordering Gemini Rue, visit the official website at www.geminirue.com.